[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Last night the pool boy showed up on our doorstep. He’s just about the last person I ever wanted to see again. I thought he might be here to spy on Hethurin, so I had him wait in the sitting room until we talked about it. The pool boy said that he had come to get a note saying that Hethurin forgave him, and he wasn’t to return until he had one. He claims that he was the one who put something in Hethurin’s tea and left him in the dirty inn with a healer who didn’t know what he was doing. While that might be true, I think it’s more likely that Verisna did something, and now that she’s caught, she is making someone else take the blame for it. Since when has she ever worried about her relationship with Hethurin? Especially if she thinks our kids aren’t even real grandchildren. I just feel like she’s up to something. I told Hethurin that maybe he’s here to spy on us, but he didn’t seem worried. He said we don’t have anything to hide. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean I want someone reporting back everything I say or do, either. Hethurin pointed out that we could keep him as long as we wanted, although I don’t actually want him to stay here. I had the idea of having him help Lilithel in the stable, that way he’d have to shovel hawkstrider poop, and she’d have more time to spend with her baby. Maybe she and Tik could even work something out.

Hethurin said he could stay in the builders’ house with Ithorel and Ethirdir. There’s a spare room there, though there are plenty in the students’ building. This way I suppose he could help with building too, in the spring. Provided he knows how to use a hammer, that is, but I guess it can’t be that difficult. Nothing we said seemed to upset the pool boy at all, and he insisted he wanted to do this to go back to Verisna. I don’t understand how he doesn’t see how evil she is, and how she’s using him. It’s not impossible that he really loves her, I guess, but it just seems unlikely to me. He’s younger than I am! I also don’t really know if I like the idea of keeping him here and making him do terrible things. We’re not like that. I guess it’s true that he could leave whenever he wanted — we aren’t the one making him do this, she is. And he could always refuse. I still have a bad feeling about all of it. I let him have some cake and told him about the ball. At first Hethurin didn’t want to allow him, but I thought maybe he’d see how much better our parties are and he could report back to Verisna. And we always have plenty of food.

Tomorrow I’m going to bake some test versions of the party cake for Hethurin to try. It’s going to have white layers with chocolate and manaberry jam for filling. I’ve also been practicing making sugar swans to put on the top. I was worried for a minute because Hethurin said he didn’t like swans, but I think he was actually confusing them with geese. It would have been bad to change the theme just a few days before the ball! I’m also going to bake some of those little candies inside with messages in them, so everyone should get one in their piece. I think that will be fun. I have to make sure Hethurin gets a good one.

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[Story] Risarra’s Journal

It’s still hard to believe I have my own hippogryph. I keep going to the stable to look at her. As soon as I saw her in the paddock, I knew that’s the one I wanted. Not only is she the most beautiful hippogryph I’ve ever seen, she’s gentle and affectionate. Her feathers are white and silver and blue, like the snowy hills in Winterspring. I decided to name her Frostwing. I like to think that she likes me too, whenever I come to the stable I bring her a little treat, and she nudges my hand with her beak to get at it. I haven’t really had an animal friend since Magnolia — there was the bear that I helped back to health, but it wasn’t really the same. With Frostwing I feel that same connection, but at the same time, the fear that something will happen and we’ll be separated. But the breeder assured me that she’s a strong and confident flyer, well-trained and we shouldn’t have any problems at all. She said that Frostwing had obviously bonded with me. I haven’t tried riding her yet. I will soon, once she’d had a chance to settle into the stable. I want to take her somewhere quiet, away from distractions so she won’t be startled. Near the camp might be good, so she can get used to being there — she’ll be staying there when I do. There is a lake and plenty of soft grass for her to rest on there, though I might see about building a fence to keep animals away from her. Not the bears, but wild sabers and things like that.

The trip was nice. Feathermoon has so many people, and many different buildings. Their barracks are enormous! We stayed in a fancy room in a fancy inn. I was worried there might be druids there, but we didn’t see any. We ate in the restaurant, and they had a sampler plate will all different kinds of dumplings. Some of them I’ve never even tried before, so I tried to figure out what the ingredients might be. I’ll have to write down all my recipes so I don’t forget them. They also had a very nice sauce for dipping, just the hint of spice, Bear seemed to like it a great deal. We drank sparkling wine and had a berry cake. I brought him a book of poems, I thought he might like to read them while I’m away, or we could read them together. I think that would be even nicer. He got me a bracelet with a little bear charm and a hippogryph charm. I like the idea of carrying a tiny bear around with me all the time. There was also a candle that smelled like fresh spring flowers, Bear said he’d bought it at a shop here. I thought it might be a good idea to get more, because we can always use candles for the house, and it smelled so lovely. The shop was run by a strange looking woman, Bear said she was a draenei and she’d seen them in Northrend. No one else seemed to find her presence strange, so I thought little of it, but she had horns and a tail! To her credit, she spoke enough Darnassian to ask us what sort of scents we wanted, and soon I’d forgotten about the strange woman as I smelled all of the different perfumes and soaps. They were lovely. We ended up getting quite a few candles, as well as some soaps — I had a little money left over from buying Frostwing.

Once she’s accustomed to the route, I’ll be able to ride Frostwing back to the camp even when Avanniel is away. That means I can spend more time there, and I do like that idea. Bear talked about making the house larger, adding a kitchen and I suggested a little reading area like the cabins had in Winterspring. I feel happy and hopeful for the future, though I don’t know what it will hold I feel safer with Bear there.

[Story] SWTOR – Xarlo’s Meditations

[[ Attended a little RP event and wrote up my character’s impressions of it! This is Xarlo, the Jedi Knight, though IC he has not completed his training. ]]

“The more we learn, the more we discover what we do not know.”

My former Master always said that to me. I found it puzzling and more than a little frustrating at times, but he was right, of course. He was right about a lot of things. Since the temple fell, I’ve felt adrift — both physically and mentally. I search for meaning on my own, but I lack the experience and discipline to discover it, I fear. It could have been mere chance that guided me to scan the old frequencies, but I don’t think it was. I believe my Master’s hand guided me, pushing me forward though it might not be comfortable. Through the static, a call for Jedi to gather in a hidden enclave, unknown to the Eternal Fleet but familiar to those of our order.

It could have been a trap, of course. I believed my armor and saber would be protection enough, though I could imagine my Master’s scoffing expression. I’m not certain what I would have done if it had been — but it wasn’t. At least, I don’t think it was. Two Master Jedi led the gathering, an exploration of the Jedi code and its shades of meaning. The recitation felt comfortable and familiar, like a favorite pair of well-worn shoes. Those gathered brought their own perspectives and approaches, and though I thought to speak up many times, I remembered another thing my Master was fond of saying — “You have two ears, Xarlo, and one mouth. Listen twice as often as you speak.” The woman who sat near me had attained the rank of Knight, in spite of her youth. She was always ready with a wise insight or explanation. I would very much have liked to speak with her more, but she had business with one of the Masters. Also, I got the feeling she was not comfortable with my presence, just the slightest tension in her bearing. I don’t take it personally, though I did at first at the academy. Some humans sneeze if they’re around beings with a lot of hair. I keep myself well-groomed and clean, but to some it doesn’t matter.

There were two Sith, as well, sitting on the far side of the room. I tensed despite myself at the sound of their voices. But they raised no weapon, nor even their voices in anger, though their unease could be felt by all present.  I would like to believe that they came to learn and better understand, rather than to spy or hunt down unwary padawans. While I did not agree with their interpretations, I believe it is valuable to hear different opinions. Always ask questions, always challenge. Otherwise how do you know why you do what you do? I don’t know if I would speak to them or not. What would we have to say to each other?

Though I felt I had gained a great deal of knowledge, my confidence was shaken. I am not usually one for many words, I prefer to act. But in truth, I worried that my ignorance and inexperience would be plain for all to see, and I did not wish to look foolish in front of a Master. After the talk was over, I sought a serene ledge overlooking a still pool. I felt misaligned, off-course, as I have for some months now. I opened myself to the Force, allowing it to show me the correct path to take. I have much thinking to do yet.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Seline’s Diary

Dear Diary,

There’s so much homework here! I heard some of the other students saying there’s actually not that much compared to their old schools. I can’t even imagine how they had time to eat or sleep before, then. I suppose it would go faster if I understood it better. Magical theory is really complicated and magical history seems like it all runs together and I can’t keep everything straight. I tried making cards to try to remember things better, that works for a while but then it seems I forget it all again. It’s also difficult to do all my fire and arcane foundation homework when I really want to just work on my frost. It’s not the teachers’ fault, they seem nice and everything, but I just would rather work on frost. I know it’s important to understand all schools, because they interact with each other, and also it’ll be on the final exams. But it seems like my fire and arcane homework always take twice as long.

I have my own room, and we have a sheet for times on the shower so I don’t really see the other girls in the bathroom often either. Sometimes I think about trying to talk to them, but I don’t know what we’d talk about. They’re probably doing advanced fire spells while I’m still in baby foundation and history classes. Anything I said would probably sound dumb. I write to my father every week and he always asks if I have made any friends, as if that was the reason I came here. Except I know that’s part of it, he said a smaller school would be better for me because it wouldn’t be as many people. But how am I supposed to know who would be a good friend just by looking? It seems like a poor way of choosing. The other boy who started at the same time as me seems to have made friends already though. So maybe I’m just really bad at it (but who didn’t know that).

That boy did come to study with me. Except I feel bad about it now, because I really didn’t feel like it. I don’t think it was on purpose, but I was hungry and I went to the main house to get something to eat while I read. I think it’s easier to focus if your stomach isn’t growling. Anyway he was really upset with me and kept doing other things like looking at books and getting wine. I don’t think he’s much older than me, he shouldn’t be drinking wine. I don’t want to have too much and do something foolish, but maybe he doesn’t care. Finally we worked on our worksheet, but it was weird the whole time. I don’t know if he’ll want to study again. It does help to have someone to compare answers with, but it’s also bad because I feel silly if I get too many wrong and he doesn’t. He talked about the ball coming up, they’re having one for the fake goblin holiday. The one about love, where you’re supposed to go with your date and kiss and stuff. I definitely don’t want to hang around for that, I told him I’ll take some food and go back to my room. He did say there would be chocolates too.

~Seline

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

As promised, I went to visit Lilithel at the school. I had to wait until the evening, when she was finished in the barn and coming to take Ker’alith back to her house. I wasn’t sure if she’d be willing to talk to me, she could have had other plans, or simply not wanted to. She doesn’t know me very well, after all — she’s brought him to see Lani but never come to my office. Thankfully she did, though I can’t blame her for being a bit wary. She was unhappy that Tik had brought the matter up with me rather than asking her. Though she does have a point — it’s always best to speak with the other person directly — I can understand why he wouldn’t. It’s likely that he didn’t want to upset Lilithel or cause any further conflict.

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem very receptive to changing their arrangement. I suggested they could alternate full days, so she could have some during the day sometimes, and Tik could spend some nights with him. Lilithel explained that she needed to tend to the hawkstriders every day, and it wasn’t a suitable place for a child. And that Tik didn’t have a room, or even a bed for Ker’alith in his little room. She already feels that Tik has more quality time because Ker’alith is awake, even though Tik is working during that time. I can only make suggestions, I cannot make anyone do anything they don’t want to, and it doesn’t seem that Lilithel will budge on the matter. It’s unfortunate for Tik, but moreso for Ker’alith. I hope things don’t get more strained between them as he gets older, but I worry that it will. I can’t imagine how Tik must feel not being able to see his child every night.

Lilithel said the reason he couldn’t live with her is because he cleans too much. On the surface, that sounds ridiculous, but it could very well be the last of many small annoyances that added up. Or Tik may be cleaning because he’s anxious and doesn’t know how else to express it. Either way, though I’m not sure I agree with her reasons, they are hers and she is allowed to have them. I asked Lani if she would be upset if I cleaned all the time, and she said no. That’s a relief.

I also checked in on Hethurin while I was at the school. Lani intends to do a more thorough examination, even though her father looked him over. She wants to be sure there are no lasting effects and that he’s not ill. Terellion believes that his mother gave him something and insists that Hethurin wouldn’t have just fainted on his own. I’m not sure why she would do that, but I admit it’s not completely outlandish. More I just wanted to see that his mood was all right. He didn’t seem upset by the incident, and wanted to talk about the upcoming ball. He’s inviting some kaldorei guests and was worried about how much food they would eat. I told him that I don’t know how much kaldorei eat, but it’s always wise to make plenty of food for a party. We’ll definitely have to attend, if I have to I’ll talk Leinath into dancing with Orledin.

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

It’s been a busy week at the clinic, and I had two unexpected patients. Tik, the butler from the school, has come by a time or two, but it’s very rare that I see him. I don’t think he’s entirely comfortable with me yet, as it still takes him some time to open up. Some people are just like that, and find it very difficult to express their feelings. I suggested that he could also write to me if he found that easier.

Mostly we spoke about his son, Tik assured me that he had a safe place to play in the kitchen while he’s working. Privately, I’m not sure that a kitchen is an ideal place for a young baby, there are too many sharp objects and hot pans that could cause serious injury. But Tik spends a great deal of his time there, and he wants to spend as much time with him as possible, which of course is understandable. I explained that he should install latches on the cabinets soon, before Ker’alith is able to crawl because then he’ll be into everything the moment Tik turns his back. I also suggested he might let him stay in the nursery room for part of the day — he’d be able to spend time with other babies and learn important social skills. He’d also be able to play with real toys, not spoons and pots. Tik did say he’d consider it, but he’s reluctant to give up any time with Ker’alith because his mother keeps him in the evenings. He didn’t go into much detail, but it seems as if their romantic attachment is ended, and the mother keeps Ker’alith with her in the evenings. Without hearing her side of things, I can’t make any recommendations. On the surface, it seems unfair to both Tik and the child, but she may well have her reasons. I’ll go to the school and see if she’ll be willing to speak to me. Even if she’s not willing to live with Tik, she should hopefully be agreeable to letting him see his son regularly, and at times when he’s not working.

I also saw Irael, one of the two scholarship students. She comes to see Lani every month for a check-up, as Hethurin insisted, and I make an appointment for her as well. She’s doing very well in her classes, and her mother likes living on the grounds. But Irael is concerned that she’s not made many friends at the school, and insists that the other students would reject her because of her upbringing. I think the students are an accepting and understanding group as a whole, and I pointed out that there are many unusual people at the school. I suggested that she try to focus on making friends with one person, then it might become easier.

Finally, Leinath came to see me. He’s one of the rangers, and one I’d not spoken to before. He’s been spending a lot of time with Orledin, learning to bake and now patrolling with him, and was having some difficulty with the idea of graduating to something more serious. I had to remain impartial, of course, but I’m delighted that Orledin has someone to spend time with. He’s always been so lonely and I know how much he’d appreciate company. Aside from the physical concerns, which Leinath said he’d discussed already, he is anxious about a new relationship since his former partner was killed in the attacks. It’s a familiar story, but no less painful. He doesn’t want Orledin to feel rejected, but he said he needs some time to adjust. As I usually do, I told him it was probably best to just tell him that outright. I also gave him some suggestions for remembering and honoring his former partner, that might help him be more able to move forward. Leinath promised to keep in touch, so I hope I’ll hear something from him soon.

[Story] Thorns – The Farm

Rose went and bought a farm.  I can’t be too surprised, because she said she would, and once she sets her mind to something it’s pretty certain that it’s going to happen. But I thought it would take a while, or they’d give up looking eventually or something. It’s outside of the city, not too far from Northshire but far enough back in the trees to have some privacy. She insisted that I come to look at it after the shop closed for the day. I mean, it’s a farm. It’s muddy and it smells like shit. It has a barn already, as well as a house. Both will need a fair amount of work, Rose said that can wait until after the goblin holiday — which is good because that’s our second busiest time of year. A lot of people like to give clocks and watches for gifts for that. I thought there was no way she’d be able to do it herself, but then I remembered she did grow up on a farm, so she’ll feel right at home. Rose said she’ll hire some people to help though so it’ll get done quickly, spring is really rainy so she doesn’t want the buildings open for too long. She and Josie are already talking about what kind of animals they want to get, and what colors they’ll paint the rooms in the houses. It feels like everything’s happening without me, and I suppose it is.

When she was showing me the house, she showed me which room would be mine, if I wanted it. What I think doesn’t matter, it’s happening regardless. I don’t like the idea of leaving the shop empty every night, and I don’t want to have to walk into the city every day, nor do I want Nash having to pass through the gates all the time. Those guards are a little bit more on top of things, they check people coming in more closely than the ones who are already inside. I could stay here with him, I’d still have my work space plus a lot more. I mean, assuming he’d want to, but I think he would. I need to talk it over with him, and see what he thinks. Maybe he has dreams of hanging out in fields with sheep too, I don’t know. They’ll still come to work in the shop during the day — at least Rose will. Josie might stay behind at the farm, it seems she’d feel right at home there, and we don’t really need four people working the shop. Pup will probably go, too. He’ll come to the city for school but go home with them in the evenings, and I’ll barely see him. I know this is the push I probably need to finally let things go, but I still can’t make the jump. Not yet. The more time passes, the more foolish it is, I know that, but I can’t help imagining how things might go.

Rose will probably say I’m just being stubborn for its own sake, and why don’t I just go with them? A farm isn’t the forest, but it’s close enough that I’d rather stay here. I like the city. I like having people around and buildings and the feeling that I’m supposed to be here. I don’t think I’d have any of that on a farm. Maybe it’ll be a good thing, but that’s the thing about change — you never know how it’ll turn out ahead of time.